RAN Intelligent Controller is better foundation
Rakuten Group CEO Tareq Amin has vowed to rectify the waste caused by the telecoms industry’s ‘false horizons of change’ by simplifying the B2B software market for mobile network builders. Rakuten’s solution is to jointly create an open distribution model, along with equipment maker Juniper Networks, using its RAN Intelligent Controller as the foundation on which a more dynamic distribution of ideas can be enabled.
In a release, systems integrator Rakuten Symphony and equipment maker Juniper Networks say they are giving the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC), a software defined component of the Radio Access Network, a much-needed improvement. The upgrade is achieved by embedding Juniper’s own RIC into Rakuten’s Symworld system, so that the later runs the former the way the iOS (operating system) governs the Apple iPhone. The idea is that each new Symworld application added to the system is enabled by the Symworld Platform layer, which also supports any additional third-party software. The collaboration is part of a broader partnership that includes Juniper’s cloud-native routing and cloud metro services.
This is the next phase of the existing collaboration between Rakuten Symphony and Juniper Networks that first started with the embedding of the Juniper virtual cloud-native routing stack inside the Distributed Unit Symware. Juniper Networks needs a strong ecosystem of applications running on its RIC, which acts as an open and interoperable platform, said Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks. “Our strategic collaboration with Rakuten Symphony creates an opportunity to introduce the next generation of technology with a new business model to benefit a broad range of telecom customers.”
Rakuten Symphony and Juniper Networks are collaborating more since the former’s Distributed Unit Symware included Juniper’s virtualised cloud-native router on standard commercial hardware. The new Juniper Network offerings can be validated en masse within a Rakuten Mobile network and are available to all telecom operators with ‘known performance and outcomes’.
The logic is that applications can work with a basket of common network settings, data models, storage, software delivery methods and centralised role-based access control (RBAC) management. As Juniper’s RIC introduces open interfaces for adding applications (xApps and rApps), there will be a common platform delivery model, which should make for a more efficient and seamless experience for customers.
“At the start of the smartphone revolution, telecom vendors tried to sell app stores and marketplaces to generate additional profit from the mobile network operators. This led to false horizons of change, with revenue only received by vendors and non-realised outcomes for operators,” said Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Symphony. “In my experience, the value of a successful business model has proven to be in the applications that are enabled by such a marketplace. The entire telecom industry can benefit by focusing on creating a new path from application provider to business return as efficiently as possible. This is why we are embedding Juniper’s RIC, an open and interoperable solution, as the exclusive RIC enabler in our Symworld platform.”